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Penguins Grades: 44 Shots, 4 Goals, 2 Fights, & 1 Important Win (+)

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Pittsburgh Penguins, Jason Zucker

The Pittsburgh Penguins had 44 shots, four goals, two fights, two lineup returns, and one big 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators Friday at PPG Paints Arena.

The teams combined for 91 shots as Ottawa put 47 on Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry, who played his first game since suffering a lower-body injury in the first period of the Winter Classic vs. Boston on Jan. 2.

How did he feel after stopping 46?

“Well rested,” he joked.

UPDATE: NHL scorers later revised the Ottawa total down to 45 shots. Jarry officially made 44 saves.

The Penguins bore little resemblance to the disjointed, sloppy team that was winless in their last four games, including a pair of OT losses. They bore less resemblance to the team that took nine penalties against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, nor the team allowed the rebuilding Anaheim Ducks to take a third period lead last week.

Jarry immediately established a commanding presence in the crease, and the Penguins asserted themselves in all three zones. The statistics said the game was nearly even on all fronts, but the Penguins were never out of control or gasping for air.

Jarry had a surprising answer about being so aggressive in the crease. Basically, without practice, he just went for it.

“I think that since not playing for a while, I think you kind of you lose your timing here and there, and you kind of lose your game flow a little bit,” Jarry said. “Especially with the way things are — we don’t practice very much right now … So I wasn’t actually able to get into a team practice before coming back. Being able to just get into a game, get back into the game flow and get back into things, I think, was helpful.”

I’ll get straight to the chalkboard because it contrasts with recent Penguins’ efforts.

They shot the puck.

They shot the puck on the power play. They shot the puck at even strength. They shot the puck every way.

The Penguins also made a couple of adjustments since Wednesday…

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Pittsburgh Hockey Now Editor-in-Chief, formerly 93.7 The Fan, Sportsnet Hockey Tonight, NHL Home Ice. Catch Dan tweeting @theDanKingerski and the official @pghhockeynow account.